Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that plays an essential part in animal metabolic processes. It is probab!y the best-known of all vitamins. It is also by far the easiest to get in your diet. However, most people barely get enough each day.

Vitamin C is a water-so!uble vitamin found in virtually every variety of fruit and vegetable. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. The body cannot store them. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. So it means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that protects every cell from damage caused by the free radicals that are by-products of pollution and natural chemical processes. A key benefit of this vitamin is the way in which it increases natural resistance to infection. Many studies have shown that vita min C protects against infections.

The RDA is 60mg to 100g for an adult, and while this is enough to prevent scurvy, none of the real nutrition experts believe it's anywhere near enough to promote the best-possible health. You'll get your daily allowance from a glass of orange juice, a kiwi fruit or 85g of strawberries. The RDA continues to be based primarily on the prevention of deficiency disease. It’s a minimum. So for serious protection against flu, coughs and colds (an essential for smokers), avoiding cataract problems, fighting off cold sores, and to stimulate wound-healing after accidents or surgery, you need a minimum of 250mg daily, ideally 1,000mg or more.

Papaya, blackcurrants, green peppers and all green leafy vegetables are excellent sources (see below), but for most people, a daily supplement could be the cheapest and best health insurance.

The body cannot store large amounts of vitamin C, so you really need it on a daily basis. One of the world's leading experts on health and nutrition, professor Gladys Block (University of California Berkeley), says she aims for a minimum of 250mg each day, but for therapeutic purposes, for smokers, athletes, anyone in their 60s or routinely taking so!uble aspirin to protect their heart, 500mg to 1,000mg is the optimum level.

Dr. C. Alan B. Clemetson (medical doctor, scientist and researcher who published over 48 medical papers and a three-volume monograph) showed that women on the pill need more vitamin C than usual. It's also important for anyone on long-term antibiotics or steroid drugs to increase their vitamin C intake, both from food and supplements.

Vitamin C is best absorbed when eaten with good sources of bioflavonoids. Bioflavaonoids are a large group of naturally occurring chemicals found in many fruits and vegetables. In citrus fruits, for example, they are present in the pith between the skin and the flesh. The highest concentrations are in the most brightly coloured produce. Bioflavonoids improve the body's absorption of vitamin C, and this is helped even more if you eat foods containing calcium and magnesium.

Foods that tend to be the highest sources of vitamin C:  citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli (cooked), turnip greens and other leafy greens, blackcurrants (cooked), cantaloupe, kiwi fruit, sweet and white potatoes, and strawberries

Other excellent sources include red peppers, papaya, watermelon, brussels sprouts, coleslaw (homemade), mango, cauliflower, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, cabbage, cranberries, and pineapples.


  Fruit salad full of vitamin C

• Cut nice parts of mangoes (53 mg vitamin C per 100 g), bananas and papayas (46 mg/100 g)
• Flood them with orange juice (49 mg/100 g) and lemon (40 mg/100 g) mixed with mashed mango and papaya

• Add diced kiwi (70 mg/100 g)
• Garnish with "vitamin C-bombs", black berries (no less than 150 mg of vitamin C per 100 g) or strawberries (60 mg/100 g) 
Please note! Eat the salad immediately. Vitamin C evaporates quickly!

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